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Fashion’s best design duos | Financial Times

Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh
Dutch couple influenced by concerns over aquatic life

Rushemy Botter sits on a light green-coloured chair and Lisi Herrebrugh on a peach-coloured one. Both are wearing dark-colored clothes and Dutch-inspired shoes, their hands crossed between their knees
Rushemy Botter, left, and Lisi Herrebrugh in their Botter studio, in Amsterdam © Chris Brooks for the FT

Growing up in neighbouring villages near Amsterdam, Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh would often see each other, including on the bus to university. At the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, whose alumni include Raf Simons, Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester, the two discovered their respective strengths and used them to push each other forward, Herrebrugh helping Botter with the technical side of things, and Botter helping Herrebrugh with concepts and sketching.

Botter worked with Herrebrugh to launch his own label in 2017, going on to win numerous emerging talent awards including the Grand Prize at 2018’s Hyères Festival. The brand was soon championed by avant-garde retailers such as Dover Street Market and Ssense, finding fans in the likes of Billie Eilish and Justin Beiber.

Nina Ricci hired the duo to creatively direct its fashion division. In January 2022, after three years at the label, they left to focus on Botter. In March, the pair staged their first runway show at Paris Men’s since departing Nina Ricci and in June, won the Andam Grand Prize.

Partners in life and business, the two grew up seeing the same shapes, colours, and landscapes. “His family’s from Curaçao and mine is from the Dominican Republic,” says Herrebrugh. “We started off being really inspired by our Caribbean roots and seeing the ocean change. That’s why we’re very inspired by the ocean.”

The duo have carved out a niche they like to call Caribbean Couture, a kind of Arte Povera, deconstructed dapper where they take the commonplace and spin it into playful sartorial sophistication.

Checkered jacket detail, in light and dark brown with cerulean-coloured bead-like accents
Botter jacket detail
A Botter pink blazer ©
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  • September 10, 2022